UAE: Demand for halal products on the rise

Khaleej Times (Staff Report)

5 February 2011 DUBAI — As per the latest research by the World Halal Forum, the total size of global halal food market is worth about $632 billion in 2009 and if we also include the non-Muslim consumers, the total figure will be much higher.

Halal industry experts believe the size of total global halal market (including all halal food, non food products and services) ranges from a minimum of $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion per annum.

The worldwide demand of halal products is not restricted to Muslims only as non-Muslim consumers; from diverse races and religious beliefs prefer to buy products bearing the halal logo, thus providing a huge boost to the halal ?industry.

More than 80 per cent of the world halal trade is done by non-Muslim countries, both in the West and East, who, by utilising the halal brand to their economic benefit, have become the biggest exporters of halal products in the world.

In the West, USA, Brazil, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France are the biggest halal suppliers. In the East, Thailand is the biggest exporters of halal certified products after which Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and India are the leading halal products suppliers to the world.

The reason for this vast thriving market goes hand in hand with halal products being widely recognised for their quality assurance and the halal label has become a symbol of good quality product.

Pakistan is still developing its own halal standards and there is no official halal certification body in Pakistan. However, there are many International Halal certification companies who have their agents and offices working in Pakistan that can test and certify the Pakistani products as Halal.

Since Pakistan is a Muslim country, it is assumed that all food and beverage, all cosmetics, all toiletries, all medicines and other related products produced and exported from Pakistan are halal.

Brands popular in Pakistan may also be known in the sub continent and in Middle East. But Muslims of different ethnic background in the US, Europe, Africa or even Asia are not familiar with its brands and may not buy its products.  Halal market is undoubtedly the biggest untapped market for Pakistani exports.

The countries with Muslims majority are the most obvious target markets for halal products especially for meat and meat products.

However, Muslims living outside the sub continent and Middle East are more in need of halal products and services, which creates a big opportunity for suppliers of halal products.

In Europe, the market size of halal foods is estimated to be $66 billion, France having the largest share of approx $17 billion. In the UK, halal meat sale alone is worth over $600 million annually.

The American Muslims spend around $13 billion on halal food products annually. The GCC’s halal food imports are worth approximately $44 billion. Annual halal food trade in India is worth over $21 billion. Indonesia’s annual halal food expenditure is over $70 billion.